From Valley To Mountaintop
One rough but plausible take on the story of American roots music might be that old time fiddle and banjo dance music evolved into bluegrass while a bunch of other interesting and important stuff related to blues and songwriting happened at the same time. That’s the bluegrass-centric view, and like I said it’s incomplete and crude, but that was my path. I got into bluegrass and traced it back to its old time roots while learning about the rest of the spreading tree branches along the way. And that’s sort of how Roots played out this week, with the Whiskey Bent Valley Boys opening the night in high clawhammer style and Blue Highway closing the show with the precise and passionate sound that is their signature. In between was a crafty songsmith and band leader and some funky reggae rock music. It was mighty close to the quintessence of the Music City Roots approach to programming.